Saint Marks Basilica, Venice, Italy, carnival

Venice – funky smelling city on water

Venice. City of love. Or was that Paris ? Well, Venice can also be very romantic. If you let it.

Goblinette is lucky enough to live three hour drive away from Venice. Or unlucky. It depends on the point of view. Lately every friend that comes for a visit from abroad sooner or later checks the map and starts dreaming about going there. In the last few trips to Venice, we learned a few valuable lessons. Now we know better. Book a place to sleep well in advance.

  1. Venice can smell a bit funky at times

The town was built on the water. It certainly looks romantic. But the city of canals is… well, full of canals. And the water in them is not very clean. It looks nice to look at, but, especially in the summer months, the smell of the brown broth under your gondola is nowhere close to romantic.

Venice, canal, water, mould, decay, Italy

Honey, we might have a bit of a mould problem. Could be related to the too much water on our backyard.

  1. Venetian gondoliers are not so traditional as one might expect

I am sure once upon the time, all gondoliers looked the same. They wear the same uniforms. They all have striped t-shirts and funny hats. But there is also a chance that your boat will be steered by a sexy tattooed Italian hunk. With awesome looking full sleeve tattoos and maybe a face piercing. Don’t get too distracted, if you are in the gondola with your special someone.

  1. Experience in Assassin’s creed can be useful

My last trip to Venice included two crazy gamers. The lady geek was also with Goblinette on this trip to London. And they were quite useful. My GPS lost its satellites a few times in the narrow streets. But they had to replay the Venice map so many times in the past that they knew exactly where to turn and which bridges to take. But, there were some navigation problems. Apparently, assassins like to use shortcuts which involve climbing over roof tops. Sadly, this days such behaviour it is a bit frowned upon in the center of Venice.

  1. If you want to see Murano or Burano island, hurry up

The city on the water is basically a total maze of streets, filled with very interesting things. Basically, everywhere you look, there is a picturesque street with a scenic view on the misty waters of Venetian lagoon. Yes, it is all disgustingly photogenic. If you are traveling with a Venice first timer, you can only dream of reaching the Mark square and maybe catching the right vaporetti (waterbus) on time. They will stop, they will stare and they will try to take a selfie in front of every darn building. It took us three hours to reach the Mark’s square on foot. I dream of someday catching the boat to the islands and seeing the glass sculptures being made on Murano. And I have been told there is a very colourful village on Burano. Someday, I will be fast enough. But we did find Leonardian Museum of Vinci.

  1. Venice is crazy during the carnival

You actually have to choose. If you go during the Carnival , streets will be totally overcrowded. There will be masks everywhere. All bridges and paths through town are flooded with tourists and locals. And it is really beautiful. But you won’t see any architecture and won’t be able to do anything else then walk in the same direction with everyone else. It gets too crowded to admire the city itself. You can see the masks anytime, since they are sold on the streets all season. There are numerous mask making workshops available in Italy and you can try making your own at home. Make it as glittery as possible.

carnival, masks, Venice, Italy

Italian merchants will try to sell you carnival masks at any time of year.

  1. The town is built on alder trees

I was recently reviled to me, that now barren land of the Kras region in Slovenia and some areas in Croatia and Montenegro were once full of Alder trees. Those trees ended under the houses in the floating city. In the old days they didn’t care much about ecology. And they didn’t think much ahead either. The city is sinking, around 1-2 mm a year. There are plans in action to stop it from happening, but there is also a chance it will someday join the places like Atlantis and Bikini Bottom under the sea.

  1. Food is a bit overpriced. Always. Also the water taxis.

Bringing a sandwich with you might be good idea. Or walking a bit of the main street. There are also more reasonable priced places, where locals go to eat. But if you require the view on the Piazza while you sip your cappuccino, you should also be willing to pay for it. And let me tell you a secret. You can get a water taxi to anywhere in Venice for approx. 150 euros, if you are in a hurry. If you are less in hurry, come down, think and search for local boat lines with less rip of rates. They are parked around almost every corner.

  1. Go outside the main season

I love Venice. But hordes of tourists posing in front of everything are not something I particularly enjoy. Venice during the festival is magical. But if you want to really see and fill the city, try to avoid peak season. We were there in January once. The Christmas hype already ended and the carnival hasn’t started yet. And it was magical. We were actually able to see inside churches we would normally have to wait hours to get near.

I will probably go to Venice in a few months again. And I will check all water taxi lines in advance. If anyone tries to distract me from my mission, he might find himself in a canal. No selfies, no feeding the rats with wings on Marks’s square. I will ignore the muscular Casanovas on gondolas. After all those years failing at it, I will do my best to finally see the two islands.

Since goblins love to travel, but usually do it on budget, we use Airbnb. By using this link to subscribe, you get 20 euro of your first trip, and we get a little discount on our next. If you are not into Airbnb, there is a link on the right side of our page. Find cheap rooms in hostels or hotels, and … travel as much as you can.



Posted in Budget, Europe, Travel smart.
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  1. Venice can be so irritating, with the crowds and its mad prices, but I agree it’s a wonderful place and I love to go there. I was there in November, last time, before the crazy Christmas rush and we got some crisp blue skyes too – it was fabulous!

    • We also try our best to avoid crowds. So November is on our list of best times to visit Venice.

  2. I decided to skip Venice on my tour of Italy. I hadn’t heard many positive things, many about the smell like mentioned here. Maybe will go this Winter!

    • So do we. The exploring part. But we don’t like getting lost so much. That is why we combined the power of Google maps and Assassin’s creed experts.

  3. Assassins Creed! Funny you should say that because I have a picture of my partner scaling a building in Venice because it was supposedly the same one in the game and he wanted to have a picture taken in the same spot! So there I stand while my boyfriend climbs up the side of a building waiting to take his picture! ….In all seriousness I know what you mean about the smell! It smelt of off fish when I went in 2011!

  4. Pingback: Where did Goblins travel during Covid?

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